Nonfiction For Nerds

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I recently heard a sermon in which the preacher said, "now, for you nerdy nerdy nerds" before saying something about Greek and German. In that moment, I realized that I had no hope of escaping the title. If you're the same way, then you might like these books, or at least you might like arguing with me about the ideas contained therein, many of which I have found very compelling. 

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The Drama of Doctrine

Kevin Vanhoozer's ability to hold together evangelical commitments and catholic unity, authoritative revelation and postfoundational hermeneutics, has personally been an anchor in a storm of opinions and ideas. I highly recommend it for any seminarian' or theologian's consideration, along with the popular-level adaptation, Faith Speaking Understanding

Exclusion and Embrace

Miroslav Volf, a survivor of the civil war in Yugoslavia, sought a Christian ethical approach that would allow him to both comfort the oppressed and confront the oppressors. His framework of exclusion and embrace works where vague "tolerance" fails, and can help us shape a world that is both good and good to live in. 

Recovering Theological Hermeneutics

Jens Zimmerman's case for a "incarnation-trinitarian" hermeneutic not only helped me develop an approach to interpretation for research and preaching, it also challenged my understanding of how theology and philosophy can intertwine. 

Truth and Method

Hans-Georg Gadamer's book has changed the way I understand reality as much as any of philosophical text. Though I found his ideas intimidating at first, they became helpful when I realized that Gadamer isn't pushing us toward living differently, relativistically or otherwise. He is just describing the way we really operate, a description that can enable us to communicate more fittingly and effectively. 

To Change the World

James Davison Hunter's book challenging our notions of "changing the world," using his sociological expertise to paint a realistic picture of how cultures change. That said, Davison Hunter is very much for The Church, and wants to help us become more effective at shaping the society in which we live.